Sep 17

Here are a few things for you to check out today

Is your NFL quarterback bad? You’re not alone. Here’s a sports show that the students produced late last weekend and aired yesterday:

If you’re not ready to get back to work, but would rather spend this time thinking of your entertainment diversions, perhaps you’ll enjoy this read. How AI will disrupt sports entertainment networks:

Whether you’re training to run a marathon or gearing up for a marathon of binge-watching TV, both athletes and casual sports fans can benefit from advances in sports video. Due to its widespread appeal, high demand, and abundance of related data, sports video is a prime candidate for innovation. Cognitive technology is teed up to enhance the viewer experience and maximize advertising revenue. What’s more, AI technology can disrupt the game itself. Here are the three main players in sports broadcasting that stand to gain the most from cognitive advancements in video technology …

Read that and realize, the future of spectator sports is going to offer you something different, for sure.

I love stories like that, the ones that tell us about the future. I especially like the ones that tell us about the future we’re enjoying right now. You see those a lot in medicine, of course. And we think, Wow, that’s some impressive development or maybe This is going to be so important for my neighbor who is dealing with this. We seldom ever think about the real people on the other side of the equation.

Here’s a professor who was an important part of the BRCA1 cancer testing series. She has a tale to tell. We’ll pick up The Week My Husband Left And My House Was Burgled I Secured A Grant To Begin The Project That Became BRCA1
where she is taking her mother back to the airport, near the end of what is surely the worst week ever:

When we finally arrived, my mom’s flight was about to leave in 15 minutes, Emily’s and my flight was going to leave in 45 minutes, and in front of the counter to pick up tickets was a long, long line. And, of course, we had our suitcases. My mom was carrying hers, and she was already fairly frail.

So Emily and my mother and I were standing in the line, and I said, “Mom, can you make it down to your plane on your own?” Bear in mind, there were no checkpoints in those days, but there were, of course, very long corridors.

She said, “No.”

So I said to Emily, “I’m going to need to go with Grandmom down to her plane.”

And my mother shrieked, “You can’t leave that child here alone!” (Fair enough.)

Suddenly this unmistakable voice above and behind me said, “Emily and I will be fine.”

And you’re going to need to read the whole thing and the part I’ve left you is a terrific tease.

It is a great read. You’re going to want to read it.

Feb 17

Watch more TV — on your computer or wherever

I’m feeling better, thanks. Most of the things I would complain about are brought on by the Sudafed. I looked up the side effects this morning and, what do you know? Present and accounted for. And, since I am breathing relatively well, and because I like sleep and a regular heart rate and all of the other things I’ve grown accustomed to over the years, I’m putting the medicine away.

I went for a run this morning. It was cold and drizzling and I was going to do a few miles, but after the first one the mist turned to sprinkles and the sprinkling came with thunder, so I went inside and got warm and ready for work.

Then tonight we had two news shows to shoot and a launch party to attend. I shot this of the news’ teaser opening:

Things to read … Sometimes, when you teach young reporters how to localize a story you can just look around the room. High school student-journalists wrote this: Detained, but not Deported: A Family’s Final Chance to Remain Undivided:

The daily calls, however, have been a strong connection between Yousef and his kids, as he tries to stay updated on their lives at home and in school. He keeps the conversation light-hearted, according to his oldest daughter Yara, a junior at Pioneer High School. “Every Friday he used to take us to the gas station after school, so last Friday he asked us ‘What do you guys want from the gas station?'”

The kids are aware that, in many ways, the cheer is a facade. “He’s mad. Every time he calls us he tries to be happy, but I know he’s mad,” Betoul said. “He has right to be. We all do.”

Despite the closeness of the family, Yousef won’t allow his kids to come and visit. “He doesn’t want us to see him like that. He wants to be strong, he wants to be the dad of the house,” Betoul said. “Seeing him like that, that’s at his weakest point.”

They did a really nice job with the story, too.

Speaking of the utes … Teenagers trust algorithms to select stories nearly twice as much as they trust human editors, research finds:

While teenagers are more trusting of traditional media – TV, radio and newspapers – than adults as they place mounting importance on facts in a ‘filter bubble’ era, adversely they trust algorithms to select stories for them more than human editors, the Edelman Trust Barometer has found.

I wonder if this will be one of those things where the first three months tells the tale. Google announces YouTube TV service that rivals cable for $35:

YouTube says that younger people (“millenials”) want to watch TV in the same place they watch all their other content, which makes sense. It wants to build an experience that “works as well on your phone as on your desktop,” as well as all your other devices.

The service also includes a feature called Cloud DVR, which allows you to save an unlimited number of shows without worrying about the storage limits of a traditional DVR. That said, you must be connected to the internet to access your recorded shows, so no watching on the subway or in the middle of nowhere.

Also, what traditional television providers do next will be interesting, too.

More here, and here.

Apr 16

Come for the photos, stay for the links

Hole punch cloud!

And the guys are hanging out with Aubie. Clint and Autumn find this funny. Chandler looks bemused. Thomas is just cool enough for this. Those are the four stages of Aubie, really:

This seems silly:

But … Some medical issue not withstanding, this is just about the dumbest thing you’ll see any day ending in Y:

KTRK Houston’s news reporter Steve Campion was live on the scene covering flooding going on in the area, when he saw two cars drive straight into the rising waters.

Yeesh. The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans:

Since 2013, the federal reserve board has conducted a survey to “monitor the financial and economic status of American consumers.” Most of the data in the latest survey, frankly, are less than earth-shattering: 49 percent of part-time workers would prefer to work more hours at their current wage; 29 percent of Americans expect to earn a higher income in the coming year; 43 percent of homeowners who have owned their home for at least a year believe its value has increased. But the answer to one question was astonishing. The Fed asked respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency. The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all. Four hundred dollars! Who knew?

When you start to seek out the portents …

Apr 16

Don’t forget to look up

Sometimes angels use parachutes:

And sometimes angels are smaller than you’d imagine they should be: Auburn heart transplant recipient meets donor family, families encourage community to donate life.

You should definitely look up: Spies in the skies

And look back: Meet the Forgotten ‘Rocket Girls’ Who Helped NASA Reach the Stars.

And all around: How to Take Better Street Photographs by Staying Inconspicuous.

Just look.

Sep 15

Window tape

It is that time of year again, when the art students are covering the windows in the university center with … tape. This is one of my favorite projects of the year. I don’t see them all, of course, but let’s just go with it. This is one of my favorite projects. Check out a few of the examples:




I’ll share a few more of them tomorrow, before they take them all down. (Window art is ephemeral.)

The only story you really need today:

The walk home after the Mississippi State game was kind of surreal. People were pointing at him, smiling at him, shouting his name—or rather his new name.

Lucas Tribble is … the Mustache Guy. Well, sometimes Jumbotron Guy. But mostly the Mustache Guy, which the Mustache Guy prefers. And the Mustache Guy is kind of a big deal. People know him. Which is kind of funny considering the whole mustache thing was a Ron Burgundy inspired, month-to-grow joke for Fiji picture day a week or so back.

“I kept it (the mustache) throughout the week just to heckle my family when I saw them.”

But, if you need other stories, here’s a super creepy one:

The federal government found a clever way to make a little extra money last summer.

Some vendors who provide federal agencies with goods and services as varied as paper clips and translators were given a slightly different version of the form used to report rebates they owe the government.

The only difference: The signature box was at the beginning of the form rather than the end. The result: a rash of honesty. Companies using the new form acknowledged they owed an extra $1.59 million in rebates during the three-month experiment, apparently because promising to be truthful at the outset actually caused them to answer more truthfully.

And just to get your mind off the behavioral engineering, the weirdest, saddest, grossest story you will need today:

A Madison County family slain this summer was shot and stabbed before their home was allegedly burned to the ground by the husband and father of two of the victims.

Details of the bloody Aug. 4 slayings in New Market came out Tuesday afternoon during a preliminary hearing for Christopher Matthew Henderson, an alleged bigamist facing seven counts of capital murder. Henderson, 40, and the first of his wives, 42-year-old Rhonda Carlson, are each charged with multiple counts of capital murder in the slayings of his other wife and several members of her family.

And, finally, a story you can listen to, with Trussville Tribune editor Scott Buttram as my guest: